Ofsted recently announced changes to their school inspection process.
School inspections will take place every three years. They will also be shorter in length, lasting no more than two days. Schools will have very little notice of when the inspections will take place and self-evaluations will be of greater importance to the overall process.
The new inspection framework, published in July 2005, incorporates the Every Child Matters agenda as set out in the Children’s Act 2004. Under the new guidelines, inspections will be carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectors as well as other private inspectors who have experience in school inspection. All inspectors will receive training and be told what criteria to look for.
Inspectors will determine whether senior managers in the school know how well the school is meeting the children’s needs and helping them to succeed. They will also see how schools are implementing self-evaluation forms.
Schools are expected to complete a self-evaluation form, which they should keep up to date. The form should be used to summarise the key findings from the school’s self-evaluation, and what the school is doing to remedy weaknesses and build on its strengths.
Schools will be evaluated based on the criteria set out by the Every Child Matters agenda. Inspectors will report their findings to head teachers and distribute a short report to parents outlining: the school’s effectiveness, the pupils” standards and achievement, the quality of the provision the school makes for pupils and the quality of the school’s leadership and management.
The new guidelines will be implemented this autumn.
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